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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 16, 2015

Q: Vanuatu was reportedly ravaged by super cyclone Pam on March 14. Its government declared national emergency and called for urgent humanitarian assistance. Will China extend emergency aid to Vanuatu?

A: We express deep condolences and sincere sympathies to Vanuatu which is hit hard by a super cyclone and suffers from grave property loss and casualties.

The Red Cross Society of China has offered emergency humanitarian assistance amounting to 100,000 dollars to Vanuatu. The Chinese government will extend disaster relief assistance to the government of Vanuatu. We will closely monitor the situation there and try our best to support the government and people of Vanuatu in combating the disaster and rebuilding their homelands.

Q: It's been three days since the Myanmar warplanes dropped bombs in China and caused deaths and injuries of Chinese border residents. Can you update us on how this case has been dealt with?

A: The Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the Myanmar side through various channels. The Myanmar side expressed to the Chinese side their distress over the casualties of Chinese people, promising to seriously look into this case and properly deal with it. A working group sent by the Myanmar side has arrived at the China-Myanmar border area yesterday and carried out joint investigation with China.

Conflicts in the Kokang area of northern Myanmar have been raging on over a month, causing adverse effects to peace and stability of the border area. China once again urges conflicting parties to take China's concerns seriously, exercise restraint, cool down the situation and restore normal order to the border area as soon as possible.

Q: President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz is in China now. Can you brief us on his agenda in China, especially in Tianjin? What does China expect from this visit?

A: This visit paid by President Schulz is hosted by China's National People's Congress. Chairman Zhang Dejiang will hold talks with him, and relevant information will be released in due course.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and EU. In this important year, we will step up China-EU engagement at all levels and in all fields and bring China-EU relations to a new high.

Q: The US White House cyber security coordinator said that China has suspended the review of the draft anti-terrorism law. Can you confirm this?

A: This question has been touched upon by many foreign journalists during the NPC Session and the CPPCC Session, and Chairperson Fu Ying and others have gone into great details on this topic. The anti-terrorism law is made in light of China's need to combat terrorism by incorporating new problems emerging from the international fight against terrorism with China's anti-terrorism realities. China has conducted in-depth reviews in promulgating the law. A second round of review has been completed and a third round is yet to come, after which the draft law will be presented to the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress for deliberation at a proper time.

Q: According to media reports, the Myanmar side has denied the involvement of its warplane in a bombing incident that killed and injured the Chinese. Have you noticed the statement made by Myanmar? Will there still be investigation between China and Myanmar?

A: It is a plain fact that a bomb dropped by a Myanmar warplane injured and killed Chinese residents. At the request of the Chinese side, the Myanmar side has sent a working group to the border area and carried out joint investigation with China.

Q: The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute issued a report today, saying that China has become the third largest arms exporter. Some experts share the view that China's arms export has increased in recent years because China does business with regions that some western countries are unwilling to do business with. What is China's response to this?

A: Rankings in this field change every year, and opinions from various institutions differ from each other. On arms export, China takes a prudent and responsible attitude and conducts strict management in accordance with domestic laws and regulations while complying with the UN Security Council resolutions and other international obligations. China follows the principle of contributing to the recipient country's capability of justified self-defense, not undermining international and regional peace and stability, and not interfering in the domestic affairs of the recipient country.

After the press conference, the following question was raised: A Catholic church and a Protestant church in urban Lahore, the capital city of the Punjab Province of Pakistan were under bomb attacks with at least 14 people dead and 78 injured. A faction of the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility to those attacks. How does China comment on this? What's China's view of the current security situation in Pakistan?

Hong Lei said that we are deeply shocked and saddened by these attacks. The Chinese side is against all forms of terrorism, and strongly denounces the attacks in Pakistan. China mourns for the victims and expresses sincere sympathies to the injured and the bereaved families. The Chinese side will continue to staunchly support the Pakistani government and people in unremittingly conducting the anti-terrorism strategy and safeguarding national security and stability.

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